I was with a group of believers not long ago in a time of song and praise, and I noticed something curious during one song. I didnâ€™t know the song but in one of the verses there were two lines about things that need to die. The first said something like â€œwhere religion dies.â€ Every time we sang that line it got great cheers and whooping from the crowd.
The next line was about our pride dying as well. It didnâ€™t get the same cheers. In fact, it didnâ€™t get any. Interestingâ€¦ Itâ€™s easy to want religion to die. It is outside of us and doesnâ€™t cost us anything. Pride is inside of us and we all know what that might cost us when it dies. I get it, but it made me sad nonetheless. In fact I mentioned it to them a bit later when I spoke. Why donâ€™t we bring the same passion to Godâ€™s work transforming us from the inside as we do the work he needs to do on the outside?
That may be why so many people who have seen through the bondages of religious systems hve yet to find great freedom and life beyond it. It is easy to cheer for the destruction of things that have hurt us. I get emails like that all the time, cheering on things Iâ€™ve written about the ineffectiveness of religion. Some of those I know who call out the loudest for the destruction of organized religion as we know it are sometimes the least transformed personally to reflect the compassion and character of God to people around themâ€”especially to those still captive in the system.
Interestingly, I do not get the same cheers back from people when I talk about letting God rework us from the inside and what needs to die in us if weâ€™re going to experience the fullness of his life. If we could only see that our pride and independence are even more destructive, especially because they live with us every day. Real transformation doesnâ€™t happen out there in structures and systems, but first in those who are willing to let him transform them at the most broken places of their lives.
And if you’re not ready for that, then you’re just really not sure yet how much this awesome God loves you. Keep exploring that until finally your joy at his dealing with your pride is greater than your hope at him blowing up religion. Then weâ€™ll know we are well on the path to his life!
On a personal note, we are on the road this weekend in Central California and our office is closed until Wednesday. Books and CDs ordered this weekend won’t be shipped until then. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes…